Speech and Language

Communication is important for us to express our needs and thoughts and to build personal relationships. It can be very frustrating when you have trouble with speech or language. Gundersen Speech Language Pathology provides diagnosis and treatment for speech and language disorders and dysphagia—or swallowing—disorders. We hope to help you get back to communicating well and living life to the fullest.

What is the difference between speech and language?

Speech is the verbal part of communication. When someone has a speech disorder, they can experience problems with articulation, voice, fluency or speech rhythm.

Language is verbal too, but depends on hearing and speaking comprehension. People with a language disorder may have trouble understanding others, comprehending what they read or sharing their thoughts with others.

Speech and language disorders can exist together or separately.

Speech, language or swallowing issues we treat

Treatments we offer

Speech language pathology provides individualized treatment options. If the disorder is severe enough, treatment may include augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and methods. Alternative communication methods can be high tech such as using a keyboard that translates typed messages into synthesized speech, and they can be basic such as using picture and word communication boards or books.

In certain instances, a swallowing evaluation may be ordered. This testing includes assessment of the oral facial structures, observation of the voice box and a swallowing study done by X-ray called a videofluoroscopy. This evaluation can help a speech language pathologist determine which parts of your mouth and throat may not be working well and how to treat your swallowing disorder.

Gundersen also has specially trained pediatric speech language pathologists. They work with children who haven’t developed speech or language normally. They also work with newborn babies who have feeding difficulties.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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